Duncan will be returning for a second season to the San Juan Islands as an Outdoor Odysseys guide and adventure filmmaker.
Born in San Mateo, California, Duncan grew up SCUBA diving, backpacking and sailing. After college he spent a year working in the South Pacific on a dredging barge in Tahiti, on lobster boats in New Zealand and as a concrete carpenter in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Duncan returned to California to work in finance for two years before joining the US Navy where he served for 32 years leading small teams around the world in extremely dynamic environments.
As an adventure athlete Duncan competed in and completed adventure racing events of up to 500 miles in the ESPN X-Games, the Southern Traverse of New Zealand, and the Raid Gauloises. Each race had extensive mountain biking, trail running, rafting/paddling and land navigation components. As a cyclist he has ridden from Canada to Mexico and the length of New Zealand. In 2014 Duncan finished the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in Colorado in under 12 hours and ran the Boston Marathon “Shadow Run” in Bagram, Afghanistan the following year. Duncan earned a BS in Finance from the University of Southern California, an MBA in Marketing from UCLA’s Anderson School, and a certificate in venture innovation from the Stanford Graduate School of Business IGNITE program. Duncan’s newest guiding ambition is to teach his brand-new granddaughter to kayak in the summers ahead. Kennedy will be four weeks old on the day Duncan leads his first trip of the 2019 summer!
Most amazing outdoor and/or wildlife experience you’ve ever had?
On my first kayak paddle to Catalina Island (the other island paradise of course after the San Juan Islands) we set out on the water a few hours before dawn with a heavy marine layer of clouds and fog. The previous night we had estimated our paddling speed, the Pacific currents, and the wind in order to determine a bearing that would get us safely to Two Harbors on the northern part of Catalina Island. For much of the 24-mile, six-hour paddle we couldn’t see land in any direction, but we did keep a keen eye on our compass bearing. When the fog cleared, we were within several hundred yards of our intended landfall. Careful planning and trusting our gear paid off. And the wildlife reward included seeing flying fish, a shark, a huge sunfish and a dozen Garibaldi all in a single day.
Most incredible whale sighting?
Back in the era of film cameras, photographers used to say “You are only as good as what you shoot with your last frame of film.” Well, on the very last day of the 2018 Outdoor Odysseys kayaking season we were paddling just south of Lime Kiln Park when six Orcas worked their way to the north right past us. We of course rafted up and minimized noise and movement in an effort to not disturb the whales or alter their behavior.